According to the ACS which the government uses for ranking states by povertythe national poverty rate was According to another government survey, the Current Population Survey, it was Inmore than 19 percent of Louisianans were poor infar above the national poverty rate of about 13 percent, and higher than the poverty rate in all states except one.
New Orleans was settled on a natural high ground along the Mississippi River.
Later developments that eventually extended to nearby Lake Pontchartrain were built on fill to bring them above the average lake level. Navigable commercial waterways extended from the lake into the interior of the city to promote waterborne commerce.
Inheavy flooding caused by Hurricane Betsy brought concerns regarding flooding from hurricanes to the forefront. That year Congress passed the Flood Control Act of which, among other issues, gave authority for design and construction of the flood protection in the New Orleans metropolitan area to the United States Army Corps of Engineerssubject to cost sharing principles, some of which were waived by later legislation.
The local municipalities were charged with maintenance once the projects were completed. Afterthe corps built a levee system around a much larger geographic footprint that included previous marshland and swamp. Many new subdivisions were developed to cater to those who preferred a more suburban lifestyle but were open to remaining within the city limits of New Orleans.
Historians question why the area farthest east was developed, since it was viable wetlands and because ringing this region with levees did nothing significant toward protecting the city. What expansion accomplished was to increase the amount of land that could be developed, and it was a reason for the Army Corps to expand the size of its project.
In addition the structures caused subsidence of up to 8 feet 2. Bernard parishes lie at or above sea level, with the highest neighborhoods at 10—12 feet 3. When authorized, the flood control design and construction were projected to take 13 years to complete.
Many collapsed well below design thresholds 17th Street and London Canals.
In eastern New Orleans, levees along the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway failed in several places because they were built with sand and erodible materials instead of clay, an obvious construction flaw. In that event, the wind was predicted to come from the north as the storm passed, forcing large volumes of water from Lake Pontchartrain against the levees and possibly into the city.
It was also forecast that the storm surge in Lake Pontchartrain would reach 14—18 feet 4. Anticipated effects included, at the very least, the partial destruction of half of the well-constructed houses in the city, severe damage to most industrial buildings, rendering them inoperable, the "total destruction" of all wood-framed low-rise apartment buildings, all windows blowing out in high-rise office buildings, and the creation of a huge debris field of trees, telephone poles, cars, and collapsed buildings.
The resulting mess would coat every surface, converting the city into a toxic marsh until water could be drained. Some experts said that it could take six months or longer to pump all the water out of the city.
He called the governors of Alabama, Louisiana, and Mississippi to warn them of the severity of the coming storm. He issued a special warning to Mayor Ray Nagintelling him that some levees in the greater New Orleans area could be overtopped.
On Sunday, he made a video call to U. Bush at his farm in Crawford, Texas about the severity of the storm. Many New Orleans residents took precautions to secure their homes and prepare for possible evacuation on Friday the 26th and Saturday the 27th.
On August 27 the state of Louisiana was declared an emergency area by the Federal Government,  and by mid-morning of that day, many local gas stations which were not yet out of gas had long lines. Nagin first called for a voluntary evacuation of the city at 5: In a live news conference, Mayor Nagin predicted that "the storm surge most likely will topple our levee system", and warned that oil production in the Gulf of Mexico would be shut down.
Many neighboring areas and parishes also called for evacuations. By mid-afternoon, officials in PlaqueminesSt. CharlesLafourcheTerrebonneJeffersonSt.However, when Hurricane Katrina passed east of New Orleans, it was a weakening Category 4 storm.
Questions have been raised about proper funding for the Corps of Engineers, which is in charge of many hurricane-protection programs across the United States.
Hurricane Impact: Post Katrina Reports on the immediate impact of Hurricane Katrina, covering issues such as demographics, race and class, business and job losses. Learn More >. In a June report on the disaster, the U.S.
Army Corps of Engineers admitted that faulty design specifications, incomplete sections, and substandard construction of levee segments, contributed to the damage done to New Orleans by Hurricane Katrina. Aug 01, · 2. New Orleans and Hurricane Katrina.
The size, composition, and characteristics of the New Orleans population at the time of Hurricane Katrina shaped the effects of the hurricane on the city, and also strongly influence our ability to conduct survey research on this population.
In New Orleans, the share of the Hispanic population rose by over 2 percent, or more than 6, people. Many of the new residents came seeking jobs rebuilding New Orleans.
Of the million people living in the areas hit hardest by Katrina, some million lived in the New Orleans metropolitan area, with close to one-half million people living in the city of New Orleans itself.